What if a Massive Earthquake Crippled the Middle of America?

We usually think of “the Big One” shattering California. But the middle part of the U.S. could have a massive earthquake, or series of them, such as the New Madrid quakes in late 1811 and early 1812. My guest on DestinySurvival Radio for April 14, 2011, discussed that possibility.

Steve Besemer, then the Earthquake Program Manager with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, was very good at putting our subject matter in interesting and understandable terms.

The fact that a number of relatively small earthquakes have occured in the Midwest region in recent decades is an indicator of the possibility for larger quakes. Up to 40 million people could be affected in the New Madrid seismic zone. And we’d better be aware and as ready as possible.

Quakes in the middle part of the country affect such large geographic areas because the soil and rock formations are different than in places such as California or Alaska. The absence of mountain ranges is a factor, too. Seismic energy waves travel farther east of the Rocky Mountains.

Big quakes in Japan could be a model for what to expect from the New Madrid area. Two hundred years ago, there were four quakes over a three month period. They’re believed to have been in the range of 7 and over on the Richter Scale.

There’s a system of faults interlocked in the New Madrid area. When one quake happens, another may be soon to follow.

When it comes to being prepared, determine what you can do to reduce the impact of a quake at home, school or work. Have survival kits to get you through at least 72 hours. You may have to get by for a week to 10 days before help arrives.

My guest and I discussed the “Triangle of Life” briefly. Steve Besemer shared some pros and cons about it. But “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is considered the best protection against falling nonstructural items, such as bookcases, picture frames and fluorescent lights.

As with any possible disaster, it’s important to be in the preparedness habit.

To access links mentioned during the show, click here. The link to DestinySurvival Radio for April 14, 2011, no longer works. Contact me if you want to make arrangements to hear the MP3.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.